The University of the Witwatersrand has been given the privilege and honour to host a combined meeting of the African Association of Physiological Sciences (AAPS) and the Physiological Society of Southern Africa (PSSA). The local organizing committee (LOC) and I are therefore pleased to invite you to participate in this momentous event.

The theme of our conference is “Physiology in the African Context: Contributions to the Global State of the Art.” The conference aims to showcase the significant contributions of physiologists working on the African continent alongside those of their counterparts from the rest of the world. Through a series of plenary sessions and workshops facilitated by world-renowned experts, we also aim to use the event for capacity building of the academe on the continent. In this context, the partaking of our early-career colleagues is strongly encouraged and to this effect, the LOC is working hard at obtaining partial funding to enable such colleagues to travel to South Africa and actively participate in the conference and workshops. Details of travel grants will be announced soon.

While our programme will continue to include the standard symposia characteristic of such a scientific and academic event during which cutting-edge research will be presented, it will also retain major elements of the PSSA, such as the Wyndham and Johny van der Walt competition specifically for postgraduate students to showcase and benchmark their work. We further intend to enrich our programme with specialised topics that will focus on “hidden” skills required for a successful academic career. Of note is the offering of pre-conference workshops with an emphasis on the use of technology in Teaching and Learning in recognition of the fourth industrial revolution.

To enrich the socio-cultural experience of delegates to this conference, we are planning pre and post-conference sight-seeing tours of Johannesburg including visits to some historical and cultural sites. We are therefore keen to welcome you to Johannesburg and wish to assure you of both an academically and socially fulfilling encounter.

Willie Daniels and the LOC